The Chicago Zoological Society is uniquely positioned to expand our leadership role in conservation on a local, regional, national, and international level. Our approach to applied science and education has led to a history of significant programs that have directly benefited the conservation of wildlife and the natural world.

To maximize and sustain conservation impact, programs must integrate and apply scientific knowledge toward human action while leveraging cultural shifts through training, community engagement, strategic collaborations, and public policy involvement. The management team—along with the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Zoological Society—is accountable for leading CZS toward desired strategic outcomes that advance the institution.

Based on rigorous review and evaluation of the best available data and alternatives, our leadership team functions collaboratively in a trusting and respectful environment, passionately committed to the mission of inspiring conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.

Stuart Strahl, Ph.D.Stuart D. Strahl, Ph.D., President and CEO

Dr. Stuart Strahl is a career conservationist with deep experience in applied science, restoration ecology, public policy, and not-for-profit management. Prior to arriving at CZS, Dr. Strahl led Audubon into national prominence as the acknowledged private-sector leader in the largest ecological restoration initiative in history, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. His prior positions include founding President/CEO of Audubon of Florida, Vice President and Everglades Conservation Director of the National Audubon Society, and Research Fellow and founding Director of Latin American Programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Dr. Strahl is dedicated to converting conservation into a mainstream public issue. He has worked extensively to develop lasting partnerships in the United States and Latin America, which have resulted in preservation of over 30 million acres of wildlife habitat and over $15 billion in conservation funding. He has broad experience in bringing together diverse interests around mainstream causes. He has served on various Boards of Directors, including the Society for Conservation Biology, the Everglades Foundation, and Vital Ground Foundation. Dr. Strahl is also well-versed in philanthropic support, having raised many millions of dollars in operational funding to support these initiatives. Dr. Strahl received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Bates College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany. He served for over 10 years as the founding Chair of the IUCN/SSC Specialist Group on the Avian Family Cracidae and on adjunct faculties of the University of Florida, State University of New York, Washington College, and elsewhere.

Rich Gamble Richard G. Gamble, Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President of Operations

A Chicago native, Richard Gamble most recently served as Vice President & General Manager of Chicagoland Publishing and Publisher of Chicago Magazine for the Chicago Tribune Media Group. During his impressive 16-year career with the Tribune, he held several leadership positions, including Vice President of Finance & Operations, Publisher & General Manager for Exito! Newspaper, Director of Business Development, and Director of the Packaging Division. Prior to his employment at the Tribune, Gamble held various logistics and operations positions for Taco Bell Corporation and McMaster-Carr Supply Company, all which added to his deep experience and skills to assume the Society’s leadership position. Gamble holds a Masters of Management degree from Northwestern University with concentrations in marketing, management strategy and planning, and organizational behavior. An active community leader, he serves on several nonprofit boards, including Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Loop Alliance, Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and SOS Children’s Villages of Illinois, among others.

Cindy Zeigler Cindy Zeigler, Chief Advancement Officer

Cindy Zeigler is a seasoned career professional with more than 32 years of diverse experience in development and fundraising, marketing, and overall institutional management. For 13 years, she was a partner in Zeigler and Zeigler, working on a consulting basis with such organizations as National Audubon Society/Audubon of Florida, The Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation, The Cullen Vivarium, The Trout Lake Nature Center, The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, The Humane Society of Marion County, and the Turtle Survival Alliance. Prior to her work as a consultant, she held positions as Deputy Director of the Zoological Society of Florida at Miami’s Metro Zoo, overseeing development, membership, special events, marketing, finance, Board development, gift concessions, and capital projects; as Executive Director of Miami’s Parrot Jungle and Gardens, responsible for the management and development of the attraction; and as Assistant Director for the State of Florida for CARE International, responsible for fundraising, marketing, media development, and direct mail.

Bill Zeigler William Zeigler, Senior Vice President of Animal Programs



Center for the Science of Animal Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Classes and Camps

Center for Conservation Leadership

We place a high priority on developing and supporting conservation leaders of all ages and backgrounds.


Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Zoo Animals